COVID-19 test results paint a bleak picture of Wisconsin's effort to flatten the curve

MILWAUKEE -- Thousands are being tested for the coronavirus across Wisconsin every day -- and the results paint a bleak picture for the state's efforts to flatten the curve.

COVID-19 testing on Milwaukee's south side

State officials announced on Tuesday, July 7 that there are 80 active labs processing 19,000 tests per day across the state.

The lines at a drive-thru testing site on Milwaukee's south side stretched blocks. The Wisconsin National Guard is continuing its COVID-19 screenings for anyone over the age of 5.  A spokesperson declined to comment on camera but told FOX6 News 819 tests were administered at the Chase Avenue location on Monday alone. He said it was a low number even after the busy holiday weekend.

COVID-19 testing on Milwaukee's south side

The data, however, shows a surge in cases.

Andrea Palm

"Since Memorial Day Weekend, Wisconsin has added 16,972 more cases. For comparison, it took Wisconsin five months to get to approximately 15,500 cases," said Andrea Palm of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Gov. Tony Evers said he has been urged by business owners to issue a statewide mask mandate. But the governor said it would not hold up after his Safer at Home orders were struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

If he had the power to issue another lockdown, would Gov. Evers do it?

Gov. Tony Evers

"I believe that we would not have to reinstate Safer at Home, but look at other ways to corral the pandemic and masks are one of those," Evers said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is also reversing its decision to publically name businesses with at least two confirmed cases of the coronavirus -- after blowback from groups like the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. The department had previously planned to identify businesses on its website this week.

"We continue to work through these open records requests and do what we need to do from that perspective and talk to our partners about the way to move forward on this issue," Palm said.

COVID-19 testing on Milwaukee's south side

Cases have climbed among Wisconsinites in their 20s -- making up a quarter of new cases. 20 percent of cases in June were people who admitted to attending mass gatherings. More than 400 contact tracers are working in the state -- with more being brought on this week.